| Band: Celeste Noir|
Interviewer: Donovan Tate
How did the band get started?
Markus: In the year 2000 we started without a name. It was the first time I had a listening-session with my old friend Leo, who had never heard my songs before. To my surprise Leo wanted to program the drums. So we recorded a few songs and gave us the name Céleste Noir. In the year 2001 we started a recording-session with Carsten, an old friend of mine, too. You can hear the results of this experience on our CD "Shadowland".
Leo: I started my musical career as a drummer in a rockband. After the band had splitt up I decided to make some electronic music.
Carsten: I started with another Synthpop-band 1994-99.2 years later Markus told me that he's looking for someone singing to his compositions, and I said "Ok I'll try". It was the first time for me to become a lead singer.
What inspired the band to get into electronic music?
Markus: A long time ago I started to create music on my computer with a couple of synthesisers, very experimental... So there was no alternative for me...
Carsten:I always loved electronic music.I started much earlier with a casio keyboard playing 80s songs.
How has the band's musical relationship developed in three years term going so far?
Markus: The members of Céleste Noir all have their own charakter. I think that our ideas harmonise excellently and within the last years merged into a unique sound.
Carsten: The style was born with the beginning of Céleste Noir.Everyone's got his own influences, but in these 3 years the sound became more and more Céleste Noir.
What is the concept of Shadowland?
Markus: Shadowland represents the versatile sound of Céleste Noir. It was important for us to show that there is variety in our work.
What ideas are expressed in the lyrics?
Carsten: Always my favourite and most difficult question (laughing).There are so many influences in the lyrics. Most of them are inspired by Horrorstories combined with personal and emotional situations.
All songs on cd are real good. There's a couple of them that have a sense of humour. Did you want to write some songs that have some emotional feeling with a silly twist?
Markus: Thank you for your compliment. I think irony is one of our attitudes.
Carsten: Some lyrics are really melancholic and emotional.I'm not someone who's falling into depressions, but many things make me thoughtful.I try to find the positive sight and sometimes it turns into irony. I'm always fascinated of dark and mysterious stories and movies so you can read this combination in these lyrics. Sometimes I don't know the inspiration anymore, but for example: The Song "Invisible" is inspired by a story of buffy the vampire slayer about a girl, who became invisible because nobody has ever seen her, a really sad story. I combined this story with the group situation of feeling invisvible, but it's not necessary to make yourself visible in every situation. Then I imagined what I would do if I was invisible, inspired by the classic horrorstory of "the invisible man" .
You created a new style called horror-pop. What's the develop visual behind the new music category?
Markus: We think that horror-pop imagine dark and real gothic with a lovely breeze of sweetness and the esprit of the normal... transform into the antinorm. We hope that we will perform this in near future on our releases and liveshows.
Leo: We don`t like being put into certain categories but the most suitable name for our music is horrorpop. There was no such thing before so we had to create it.
Carsten: It's our own creation between darkwave and synth pop
You escape the similar sound of Depeche Mode, but some of the songs still have their influence. Was it an intention?
Markus: No one can deny his influences... I think it's the combination of pop-music and the 80´s sound which is always present in our music. Carsten's Voice resembles Dave Gahan's, so it's inevitable to be compared to Depeche Mode.But I don´t see to many parallels.
Carsten:I also think that the music of Depeche Mode influenced many bands,but Depeche Mode have got their own songwriting which is not very similar to ours.There was no intention to make a similar sound.
Are you planning to tour around Europe?
Markus: We always try to be present on stage. But as we haven´t got a record-deal, it is difficult to get the opportunity.
Leo: We take every opportunity we get to do a live performance.
What kind of response did you receive from your debut release?
Markus: We got different reactions from all over the world. Most of them positiv. We think our fanbase is getting bigger and bigger. We´ve got some interesting reviews, too - mostly with a positiv tenor.
A lot of artists tend to be very critical of their own work-how do you feel about your previous and current release?
Markus: To release an album is always a give away of your soul. Sometimes it feels good and sometimes it feels bad and it is always difficult to find the right point of satisfaction. So our sound on every release represents our condition in that moment. When you visit one of our gigs, you always hear different versions of our songs. We are very self-critical and try to improve our sounds pemanently.
Leo: Being responsible for mixing and recording I always try to improve the quality of our music. It`s a permanent development.
Carsten:We're working more and more intensive with music,sound and lyrics.
Do you find your music appears to a synth-pop or gothic audience or both?
Markus: As we have many influences and a wide range of songs, we appeal to both audiences. It´s the charakter of horror-pop.
Leo: Surprisingly, our music appeals to a lot of different people, not only to synth-pop or gothic audience.
Are you accepted as being a newcomer in your country Germany in the electronic scene?
Markus: Yes, of course. Sometimes we are very surprised about who knows something about us.
What kind of imagery do you see in your music?
Markus: We try to transpose feelings and real or unreal storys... Music should be a movie in your head - should be sex - and maybe a message. We hope that you get your own impression, when you listen to our music. Music is an individual experience !
What were some of the personal things that inspired tracks on Shadowland? Markus: I´m just a composer who is inspired by the death of a moth in the light or the raindrops on my window and the sound of the winds... To many things on earth and in one's life to answer this question in a final manner.
Carsten:In the lyrics - the death of a family member or a person who can't see the difference between reality and imagination.But there are some more things I cant' explain, because there are also words written many years ago...and my music parts always contain a part of me, these are my thoughts turning into sounds.
Leo: I get my inspiration from listening to the material I get from markus. The process of creating the drums starts with listening.
What are the most important things you're learning now about the music industry?
Markus: An artist must have charakter and selfconfidence. With this attitudes you can make your way, but it is a stony road to go. If you really invent yourself there will be many people who damn you... and later you will see, there are more and more people who praise you. But never forget we are all just human.
Leo: You have to believe in your music and make your way...
Any new material in the works?
Markus: Yes ! We are working on a new album, which will be released at the end of the year. And the release of our single "Beware of..." coming up in October. Both of them in selfproduction ! Watch out !
When can a new album be expected and what will it be like?
Markus: The new album will sound much better, because we have upgraded our recording equipment ! We have made a new step in composing horror-pop. As we have not finished the recordings yet, we will not offer too much information. wait and see....
Leo: You can never tell what the results will be like, let`s see...
Will there be any compilation appearances that way you'll be getting more recognition?
Markus: We have already placed our song "electrified" on the refraktor magazine sampler no 32. And there's more to come...
Carsten:You can find "Rain" on "Return To Light Vol.1", a compilation of the german newcomer label Bright Light Records.
What does the future holds for Celeste Noir?
Leo: I hope it brings a lot of live gigs, new influences for our music and a fanbase that`s getting bigger and bigger.
Markus: We don´t know... can you foretell the future ?
Thank you for the interview. It's an honour to chat with a unique band who have their own particular sound.
Markus: We have to thank you. We´ve enjoyed this interview and we are very grateful for your support.
Leo: Thank you for your time and your support.
Carsten: I have to thank, too.
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